El día que la falda pantalón paralizó el tráfico del centro de Madrid

On February 22, 1911, two women had to take refuge in a portal from the mob of detractors of the garment that was persecuting them.
In her last interview, on the online show Los Felices Veinte, Samantha Hudson declared her hatred for the culottes. It is not the first time that the artist, a reference to the underground, expresses the displeasure that the garment produces. Although the reasons for her contempt for the piece are more aesthetic than moral, her rejection coincides with that which she produced to a part of society when she landed in Spain in 1911.

It happened on February 22. According to the edition of La Vanguardia the following day, two women walked with the aesthetic novelty through the Carrera de San Jerónimo in the early hours of the night. A group of people surrounded and followed them. The number of onlookers was on the rise, which caused the traffic of trams to stop. On Mesón de Paredes street, the newspaper narrates that the two women took refuge in a portal to escape the commotion. Some time later, when things calmed down a bit, they went out, but wearing long coats that hid their skorts. At the end of the note, it is indicated that something similar happened with two other women on the same day, but on Carretas Street and Puerta del Sol.

The brief news does not clarify the reasons for these riots, but later information collected that generated a great discussion both among the people and in academic environments. This incident was just the beginning of everything that would come next. The first news of the piece in Spain is from 1907. In El Heraldo de Madrid, the journalist Carmen de Burgos, known as Colombine, detailed its forms. “It consists of a short and folded skirt, split into two parts that are fastened to form wide trousers or to fit the ordinary shape of our dresses”, Arantza Margollés collects on her blog. Although at that time she praised novelty, on January 11, 1911, when fashion hit the streets, her posture changed. “Poor us, modern women, who have to run through offices and warehouses. We are condemned to manly pants, devoid of grace and contrary to aesthetics. According to the law of nature, the higher species on the zoological scale always tend towards diformism. I believe that humanity will be all the more perfect when women are more women, and men more men. Even in the suit ».

This reactionary opinion was the slightest thing that happened to those who dared to incorporate fashion into their daily lives. As reported by the Catalan newspaper on February 23, more similar information followed. On February 24, La Vanguardia stated: “Ignorance continues to promote scandals.” Again, a hostile mob surrounded a young woman forcing her to take refuge in a tent. The Civil Guard fired blows to dissolve the group, until the woman left in a car. The following day, the newspaper shared that there had been repeated (that is to say, they were not the first) attempts to hit women wearing trouser skirts on Montera Street and Carrera de San Jerónimo. The police had to intervene again, charging the culprits and arresting them, and then punishing them. And although in that same edition the newspaper boasts in a story about a Barcelona store that makes them that their use was admired and respected in the Catalan capital, later on it also reports cornering, boos and whistles.

That same day, the newspaper El Noroeste reported: “Around 10 o’clock at night, a huge group, whistling and shouting, surrounded two women wearing trouser skirts in the Cuatro Calles. Several passers-by defended them against the rioters, crossing several stakes ». The news made it clear that two camps had formed in the capital: those who were against it, and those who supported the trend. Five days earlier, in La Correspondencia de España, some women had already come out in defense of the clothing. «If fashion does not like that it is not adopted, but that of 300 men following two beautiful and elegant women for the sake of being so and chanting them between rude compliments, apostrophes and even whistles, forcing them to require the help of the guards now To have to take refuge in a tent, the truth is, it does not seem to me typical of the people of the proverbial gallantry.

This reactionary opinion was the slightest thing that happened to those who dared to incorporate fashion into their daily lives. As reported by the Catalan newspaper on February 23, more similar information followed. On February 24, La Vanguardia stated: “Ignorance continues to promote scandals.” Again, a hostile mob surrounded a young woman forcing her to take refuge in a tent. The Civil Guard fired blows to dissolve the group, until the woman left in a car. The following day, the newspaper shared that there had been repeated (that is to say, they were not the first) attempts to hit women wearing trouser skirts on Montera Street and Carrera de San Jerónimo. The police had to intervene again, charging the culprits and arresting them, and then punishing them. And although in that same edition the newspaper boasts in a story about a Barcelona store that makes them that their use was admired and respected in the Catalan capital, later on it also reports cornering, boos and whistles.

That same day, the newspaper El Noroeste reported: “Around 10 o’clock at night, a huge group, whistling and shouting, surrounded two women wearing trouser skirts in the Cuatro Calles. Several passers-by defended them against the rioters, crossing several stakes ». The news made it clear that two camps had formed in the capital: those who were against it, and those who supported the trend. Five days earlier, in La Correspondencia de España, some women had already come out in defense of the clothing. «If fashion does not like that it is not adopted, but that of 300 men following two beautiful and elegant women for the sake of being so and chanting them between rude compliments, apostrophes and even whistles, forcing them to require the help of the guards now To have to take refuge in a tent, the truth is, it does not seem to me typical of the people of the proverbial gallantry.
The conflict, as we have anticipated, did not remain in the street. Even scientific institutions found a place in their agenda to debate the issue. In the so-called Scientific Sheet of March 1, the Catalan media published that the Paris Academy of Medicine agreed on the advisability of opposing the spread of the trouser skirt. The reason for the scandal, as you can read, is not its aesthetics, but that women, then, it was considered that they could not wear this type of garment.

The fierce struggle of these conservative sectors, as history has shown, fell on deaf ears. They couldn’t stop it from getting popular then, and it made a comeback in the 1970s when Diane Keaton wore them on Annie Hall. In 2019, Slimane predicted her return and brands like Zara succumbed to the temptation. Now it is only a matter of taste, and not of morals, if you choose to wear it or not.

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